An independent archive of typography.
to participate.

Topics

Formats

Typefaces

2666 by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Picador)

Contributed by Mike Blystone on Apr 11th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 2008
.
    2666 by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Picador) 1
    Source: https://us.macmillan.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    2666 is the last novel by Roberto Bolaño. It was released in 2004, a year after Bolaño’s death. […] An English-language translation by Natasha Wimmer was published in the United States in 2008, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the United Kingdom in 2009, by Picador.— Wikipedia

    Charlotte Strick simultaneously designed both the hardcover edition and a boxed set of paperbacks. The typography is composed from scanned wood type and Facade. This very narrow face was originally issued by the Boston Type Foundry in three styles; Facade (by John F. Cumming, c. 1882), Facade Condensed (by Julius Herriet jun.), and Facade Condensed No. 2 with added lowercase. The latter was digitally revived by Steve Matteson for Monotype. The wood type used for the wide numerals is not identified. Among digital fonts, Colt Soft comes somewhat close.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://archive.org License: Public Domain.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892

    On Faceout Books, Strick has shared some insights into the process:

    Roberto Bolaño has a very literary, underground fan base that appears to be growing. It’s a designer’s dream to have a mysterious, numerical title to work with. I was a big fan of Rodrigo Corral’s jacket design solution for The Savage Detectives (FSG, 2007), so that made it an even greater challenge to take on what is considered by many to be the late author’s “magnum opus”.

    2666 by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Picador) 10
    Source: http://faceoutbooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    2666 by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Picador) 11
    Source: http://faceoutbooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.


    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: http://faceoutbooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Jacket of the hardcover edition.

    […] My process began with considering the numbers and how to create them. An early exploration used a spray painted technique that felt cold. I also played around with the idea of using three different typefaces for each “6” to reflect the multi-layered plot line and three paperbacks in the special slipcase edition, but that looked overly complicated and hard to read. Ideally, I didn’t want to use a digital typeface, so I was pleased to discover the woodcut face that eventually made its way onto the final designs. The numbers appear in different ways, vertical, horizontal, and stacked in two columns on the various surfaces of the designs. On the three paperbacks the horizontal numerals move down the stack as you move through the volumes. The title is both monumental and meaningless; Bolaño seems to be having fun with us.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: http://faceoutbooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Inner flap of the jacket.

    The cardboard slipcase again features Facade (for the author name) and the wood type numerals. The blurbs on the back appear to be in Akzidenz-Grotesk breit halbfett, or Bold Extended. Strick comments:

    The box […] is stripped quite bare and aside from the barcode, the type only prints in red. I wanted it to feel like you were pulling these books out of a generic-sort of brown paper bag. I love how the texture of the cardboard shows through all of the red type. The slipcase is foil stamped, and we simulated that effect on the paperbacks and hardcover edition by spot glossing the author name and title type.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://charlottestrick.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Paperback edition with three volumes in slip case.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: http://faceoutbooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Back and spine of the slipcase.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://charlottestrick.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The type runs across the spines of the three volumes.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://charlottestrick.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Vol. 1 with Jupiter and Semele by French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, who is mentioned in the text. This painting is also used for the hardcover edition.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://charlottestrick.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Vol. 2 with a detail from a work by Cy Twombly.

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://charlottestrick.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    “The 3rd volume uses early 18th century hand-colored illustrations from Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, inspired by one of the character’s obsession with seaweed.” — Strick

    Facade Condensed No. 2 is handy for very short lines. Specimen detail, Central Type Foundry and Boston Type Foundry, 1892
    Source: https://www.amazon.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Back of vol. 1 of the paperback edition. The blurbs are set in various styles from Akzidenz-Grotesk.

    Typefaces

    • Facade
    • unidentified typeface
    • Akzidenz-Grotesk

    Formats

    Topics

    Designers/Agencies

    Artwork location

    3 Comments on “2666 by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Picador)”

    1. Thiago says:
      Apr 11th, 2019  2:11 pm

      Wide Latin in the cross layout

    2. Apr 11th, 2019  2:31 pm

      Correct. That’s a sketch from the process and eventually wasn’t used.

      The sticker in the first image (“National Book Critics Circle Award Winner”) has caps from Palatino, in case anyone is curious.

    3. Ryo Wazza says:
      Apr 11th, 2019  3:23 pm

      Thank you for sharing this! This cover always thrilled me

    Post a comment